Author: William Blane
Publisher: London Printed for John Stockdale 1788
First edition. Engraved frontispiece and title page vignette by Heath after Stothard. From the library of William Adolph Baillie Grohman, with his sporting bookplate and small ownership stamp of a pair of antlers and the initials B.G. on top corner of title-page, also with the bookplate of Westdean Library.
8vo., full tree calf, spine panelled in gilt with contrasting leather label. Spine a little rubbed, lower joint a little cracked, waterstain to frontispiece and title-page, a small stain on pp.109/110, a little occasional browning, a good copy with an important provenance.
William Adolph Baillie Grohman (1851–1921) was an Anglo-Austrian author of works on the Tyrol and the history of hunting, and a big game sportsman. A passionate collector, he amassed a large collection of furniture and European sporting art (his collection of sporting prints was sold at a special sale at Sotheby's in 1923),and in his later years he developed an erudite interest in the history and art of sport, building up an extensive library on hunting and game animals, including early ecological studies along with early treatises on hunting in many different European languages.
Assisted by his wife, Florence, he produced a lavishly illustrated and authoritative edition of The Master of Game (1904), the second oldest English book on hunting, a translation (from the French Livre de Chasse 1387 of Gaston Phébus) by Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York. This has a foreword by his friend and later US president Teddy Roosevelt, also an avid big game hunter. In his book on early depictions of hunting Sport in art, An iconography of sport (1913), Baillie Grohman was able to bring together a lifetime's understanding of hunting in the field with an extensive historical knowledge of early sporting art gained through his own collecting and research.